A colleague of mine pointed out recently that my blog was sparse across 2015, as she enjoyed reading my posts and hoped I would write more, and I felt that I should apologise, which I understand to be a cardinal sin in blog writing. In honesty, I had wanted to write and pour my heart out onto anonymous pages about my experiences this year across the emptiness of the internet, but I felt that I couldn’t, for professionalism’s sake. Maybe I will one day be able to express in sincere words the helplessness, pain and fear that I experienced this year, and how punctate events left me feeling lost, empty and alone. (And how one day, I will stop using descriptors in threes).
This is all I can say at the moment. When it rains in Sydney, it pours. The rain drenches you to your bones within seconds, and the sky is peppered with arcs of lightning striking indiscriminately, accompanied with rolling growls of hungry thunder. The concrete streets transform to rivers and the city vista becomes obscured by clouds. It is disorienting and visceral. Creatures cower under shelter waiting for the atmospheric tantrum to subside. The storms are acute and severe, yet transient, as the dark clouds unfurl to reveal piercingly blue skies, and the sun’s warmth dries up the murky puddles in the way a mother lovingly blots away streaks of tears from their distressed child’s face.
This is the only way I can describe the last 11 months. Weather metaphors. I am so British.
I have experienced emotions in contexts I could never imagine. I have felt distress to the point where I could not comprehend there was anything past the clouds that obscured my view. I made irrational escape plans. However, I found that throughout these storms I could be my own rock, albeit weather beaten, chilled and frayed. I found a radiance that was inside me that I thought had been drained from me, tapped away and consumed forever. I found a group of people with whom I could exchange and reciprocate this warmth and I stopped feeling that I needed to suit up in armor and battle my way through the storms. So concludes 2015.
While living in the UK, I always felt that the finale of the year was a somber affair. The nights close in, and a seeping darkness consumed my waking hours. Christmas festivities felt like a lackluster but desperate attempt to gaudily veil the lethargic disappointment that the conclusion of the year could muster. A population preoccupied with consumerism to conceal the fundamental emptiness of existence with items of ephemeral desire. (I accept no responsibility for my post-teenage weltschmerz.) However, here in upside-down land, the epilogue to the year is one of brightness and awareness as the new year unfurls, dawn breaking as opposed to nightfall and I feel like I am waking from an unsettling dream. Yes, the Christmas consumerism seems crass and out of place (like a dog walking on its hind legs), but with a self-aware lewdness that I can only describe in the conscious violation of my northern hemispheric winter idealisms.
I promise in 2016 I will write more, not just my academic papers, I will write about the events that shape my life, my adventures that I am so fortunate to experience.